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Mattoon Heritage Park

The Lumpkin Family Foundation is pleased to announce its partnership with the City of Mattoon in creating an environmentally sustainable green space in the center of Mattoon at the southwest corner of Broadway Avenue and 17th Street. Construction could begin as early as Fall 2014. Mattoon City Council made the decision to move forward with the project at its July 15 meeting. Click here to read the article.

History

In 2013, The Lumpkin Family Foundation formed an advisory committee/study group that included its own members, community leaders and representatives of the City of Mattoon. Our intention was to study sustainable land use practices and how they might be employed in the space.The process has led to an agreement between the family, the Foundation and the City for a gift of the land and a grant for construction costs.

Purpose

This statement was adopted by the study group:

The Mattoon Heritage Park project would be an attractive, multi-functional space, which would provide a focal point for downtown, amplifying Mattoon’s unique sense of place and improving its environmental quality.

 

 Sustainable design elements, such as the park’s dense tree canopy, bioswales and native flowerbeds, could efficiently manage storm water and reduce the urban heat island effect, while creating a soothing and beautiful gathering place to eat, or to take a break from work or wait for a train.   

 

 The fusion of Arts programming and historical references could link the park both to its surroundings and Mattoon's cultural values. Site programming could include performance space, a sculpture garden and a wading fountain. The park could also have the ability to host festivals and outdoor markets.

 

This depiction may change in the final design process.

Mattoon Heritage Park would aim to make sustainable design practices accessible and appealing to visitors, and serve as a model for other projects in Mattoon and the region.


Environmentally Sustainable Elements

Design and maintenance are expected to follow guidelines of the Sustainable Sites initiative. Although the Design Committee is working on a final design, elements are expected to include:

 

Stormwater Management

Up to three bioswales on the site designed to manage all water on-site up to a 100 year storm, as well as runoff from the surrounding area.

The park site is expected to be upstream from a major flood zone. Though managing stormwater on one site will not prevent these floods, if implemented city-wide, these strategies could reduce flooding risk dramatically.

 

Trees

Trees reduce the heat island effect by shadowing hardscapes and by evaporative cooling. Trees also intercept storm water and increase water's ability to infiltrate soil. Flowering trees provide forage and shelter for bees and other wildlife.

A healthy tree canopy also provides an atmosphere that reduces stress and mental fatigue and encourages people to linger in local businesses.

 

Perennials

Native vegetation frequently requires less water and maintenance than ornamental plots. Diverse plantings provide 3-season flowers for people and pollinators, and are less vulnerable to pests and diseases.

Once established, these types of plantings require one mowing a year.

 

 

Historical Elements

Mattoon's unique character and history may also be featured in the design of the park.

 

Design

­The current design of the park is based on the intersection of the three railroads that shaped Mattoon’s early history, the Illinois Central Railroad, the Indianapolis-St Louis Railroad and the Peoria-Decatur-Evansville Railroad.

This scheme creates a series of meandering paths that shape circulation and create “outdoor rooms” that shape site uses and planting zones. 

 

Stage

 Th­e current stage and amphitheater in the Mattoon Heritage Park will provide space for performances and other community gatherings. ­The stage design mimics that of the Train Depot across the street, creating visual and historical continuity. It could also be an opportunity to use locally recycled materials, reinforcing the local quality of the project.

 

Fountain

­This shallow fountain courtyard could provide, depending on usership, either a contemplative atmosphere for a lunchtime visitor, or a safe and exciting play-space. ­The current design of the fountain itself mimics the shape and spray of a steam engine smokestack, which used to be manufactured in Mattoon.

References to Mattoon’s railroad history create a sense of continuity, and visually connect the park with existing infrastructure and art.

 

Note: these representations are subject to change in the final design process


Further Information

Please contact Bruce Karmazin, Executive Director at 217-235-3361 or bruce@lumpkinfoundation.org.

 

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121 S. 17th Street  |  Mattoon, IL 61938  |  P: (217) 235-3361  |  F: (217) 258-8444
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